Since the start of the academic year, there have been at least six fake IDs, four of which happened in the last month. Violations reported at the Fine Wines and Good Spirits store in Slippery Rock are an escalating problem for the Slippery Rock Police Department.
In Pennsylvania, if an underage person is caught using a fake ID, then he or she may receive a fine if it is the first offense. However, if there is a second offense, that person may face up to 90 days in jail and lose their driving privileges for up to two years. According to the Interim Director of Student Conduct at SRU, Lisa Weinzetl, if a student is caught using a fake ID, the office of student conduct will treat the offense as an underage possession or consumption of alcohol offense.
“Our system is progressive,” Weinzetl said. “You start out with a censure and then you progress up. There is a whole section that is written out about what happens when you have underage possession or consumption of alcohol. They’re pretty much guidelines because if somebody has a behavior issue then that wrenches it up a whole other level. And it also has to take into consideration that if a person has other incidents with our office, like deferred suspension, then you’re not going to get a censure warning because they have already progressed above that.”
In the official Slippery Rock University Code of Conduct, the first offense for underage possession or consumption of alcohol results in the student receiving a censure, or written warning, a referral to the Alcohol and Other Drug Program (AOD). On a student’s second offense, it results in permanent disciplinary probation and a second referral to POD. A third offense will result in a minimum of one-semester suspension. Weinzetl also said that special cases of underage alcohol or drug offenses could result in expulsion, but the offense must be egregious.
Some alcohol distributors in the Slippery Rock community have had some issues with attempted fake ID use recently, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) takes actions to ensure its distributors do proper verification checks to prevent fake ID use. The PLCB manages all of the Fine Wines and Good Spirits stores in Pennsylvania.
“The PLCB performs more than one million age verification checks annually at our stores to ensure our products aren’t being sold to minors,” Elizabeth Brassel, Director of Communication for PLCB, said. “We don’t discuss the specifics of our age verification tools and processes to protect their integrity and effectiveness, but we do use processes and technologies common among retail and alcohol businesses for verifying identification.”